The story behind Cat cottage
Years ago, I browsed the web in search for a shop dedicated entirely to cats and cat-lovers, something with original and fun items, but apparently, nothing like that existed. I wanted to buy myself a gift but ended up crafting something because I couldn't find what I liked.
At the time, I was working as a designer at a furniture company: I loved it, but my heart was somewhere else. I always wanted to work as an illustrator, always had a passion for animals and served as a volunteer to help strays, and I had a dream of making the two things to go together. When the furniture company closed down I opened a store, and even though I loved being my own boss and having my own space, my mind was still stuck on drawing illustrations and helping pets. Long story short, I closed the shop after four years and began drawing illustrations just for fun, selling them online.
To be honest, my drawings didn’t sell big numbers. But I had very little social media followers, did almost no promotions and had very low hits so, in proportion to these stats, they actually did sell quite well.
In the meantime, I took all the odd jobs just to get by, but nothing worked. The only good thing during that period was all the time I could spend with my pencils and brushes. And when even the last one of the odd jobs ended, while my drawings kept on selling a little, I decided to give it a go and draw full time.
At the time I was selling my illustrations on Etsy, but it didn’t feel like the right place for me. I wanted more control: I had been a shop owner before, so I knew I could have handled my own space. Also, I still had in mind the idea of building the kind of store I could not find years before and to use it to help animals in need.
So I’ve put up this shop.
10% of monthly profits go to a foundation or a shelter, and I also keep on helping animals in first person volunteering locally, for which I use personal earnings.
Besides drawing, I’m constantly searching for new items to add to the shop, but it’s not easy: I am quite strict about quality and I want to be sure that the products I sell are up to international standards and don't come from sweatshops. I've selected printers and suppliers based mostly in the USA, and although they could change their manufacturers without notifying me, therefore I can't guarantee 100%, their prints, and items quality are the best on the market.
In this shop, you won't find leathers or any other animal-based products, and yes, prices could be a little higher because good quality and cheap prices don't go together.
I live in the countryside near Villafranca di Verona, Italy. I’m originally from Milan, but I always wanted to live away from the city and left as soon as I had the chance.
4 things you should know about me:
- Cat Cottage really exists: it’s a very old and small country cottage and it happens to be my home. I’ve been living here for the last 16 years and have no plans of leaving. I share it with my cats and my dogs. It’s next door to a biological farm, and I have cows as neighbors.
- As a very small child, I dreamed of leaving Milan and buy a mini farmhouse where I could rescue farm animals and make a living as a designer and illustrator. I don’t own a mini farmhouse (yet) but I draw for a living, I do rescue animals and I’m next door to a farm so, almost there.
- I can’t live without books and music. Shopping to me means going to the bookstore or the music store. I have a small closet and huge bookshelves.
- I have Irish ancestors but I learned English almost entirely by myself, reading, listening to music and watching movies. I have no idea why I have always been attracted to this language, maybe it’s just part of my DNA?
This is it, I’m a simple girl. If you want to get in touch with me you can read my blog, where I write often about what happens in my world, and post pictures of my furries.
Thanks for reading!